Time Magazine – By Alex Altman, Philip Elliott, Zeke J Miller – When Donald Trump mucks things up, the first person to let him know is usually Republican Party boss Reince Priebus. Almost every day, Trump picks up his cell phone to find Priebus on the line, urging him to quash some feud or clarify an incendiary remark.
The Wisconsin lawyer has been a dutiful sherpa to the Manhattan developer, guiding him through the dizzying altitude of the presidential race and lobbying the GOP to unite behind a figure who threatens its future.
But every bond has its breaking point. For this partnership, the moment nearly arrived in early August. Priebus was on vacation when he learned that Trump had declined to endorse Paul Ryan, the Speaker of the House and a close friend. The chairman had a frank message for the nominee, according to two Republican officials briefed on the call. Priebus told Trump that internal GOP polling suggested he was on track to lose the election. Priebus explained to Trump that Priebus had a responsibility to the entire Republican Party, not just the presidential nominee.
There is no doubt that the possibility Republicans will all but abandon Trump now haunts his struggling campaign. Since his convention in Cleveland, Trump has done almost nothing right by traditional standards. He has picked fights with senior Republicans and Gold Star parents, invited Russian spies to meddle in U.S. democracy, appeared to joke about gun enthusiasts’ prematurely removing a U.S. President from office. He’s shuffled campaign messages like playing cards and left GOP elders fretting that he lacks the judgment to be Commander in Chief. During a dismal two-week stretch, he surrendered a narrow lead over Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton and now trails by an average of 8 points in recent nationwide polls. Read the full story at Time Magazine.